Blog Posts for social change

Audience Demographics: The Complexities of Intersectionality

Posted by Kevin Seaman, Jun 13, 2017 0 comments

As an organization that has always been led by a majority of queer people of color, I knew that the National Queer Arts Festival (NQAF) survey needed to be able to capture the unique intersections of the organization’s artists and audiences. I also knew that I wouldn’t be able to neatly categorize the complexity of queer identity … but I could try. The underlying principle of the survey and its synthesis needed to be rooted in multiplicity and intersectionality; to allow complex gender and sexual identity to be celebrated rather than stripped down to fit into a single box.

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Helping Veterans Build Connections Between Creative Arts Therapy Programs and Their Local Arts Communities Through Telehealth

Posted by Heather Spooner, MA, ATR-BC, Jennifer Baxley Lee, MA, BC-DMT, May 05, 2017 0 comments

The past five years have been a renaissance for those of us who incorporate the arts into our work with Veterans. However, as professionals who deeply engage in this work each day, we are aware that gaps remain in the continuum of care provided to Veterans. One such gap is in the transition from clinic to home-based care. Many service members and Veterans receive intensive therapy, including creative arts therapy, following an injury or illness and then return to their own corners of the world, which are disproportionately rural and isolated. 

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The Mission of Theater: The Contract of Showtime

Posted by Jeffrey Pufahl, MFA, LMUS, May 04, 2017 0 comments

There are basic contracts theater makers enter with each other when they start a project. These unwritten rules govern the creation of a piece of theater. We understand that what is shared at a performance is only between those who are there, and although the performance disappears forever once the lights are dimmed, what was shared remains and is carried by the audience. For the veterans who tell their stories through theater, their burdens can become a little lighter, a little more bearable—and that can make the pain of telling worthwhile.

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From Distress to De-Stress: The Power of Visioning and Rehearsing Healthy Behavior through Theatre

Posted by Jennifer Baxley Lee, MA, BC-DMT, May 03, 2017 0 comments

I build bridges for a living. By asking good questions or offering a juicy creative prompt, I point to a potential link between two seemingly disparate ideas: arts and health. I then have the privilege of bearing witness to the flood of ideas, possibilities, solutions, and truths that flow freely when the bridge is built. This year’s “bridge”? Why do we have stress as human beings? How does stress, and constructive or destructive ways of coping, impact our health? Are there any positive gains from stress, if properly expressed and harnessed?

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Tell Me a Story

Posted by Eleanor K. Sommer, MS, May 02, 2017 0 comments

As artists, our mission is to encourage expression. The stories being told may not, on the surface, relate to what is happening in the hospital room or in a patient’s life. The stories might include symbols, similar to symbols that come to us in dreams. As artists, we must treat these stories with appreciation and care. Our task is to encourage and support, rather than to analyze and judge. Storytelling teaches children to create a personal and symbolic mythology as they embark on a healthcare journey.

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Out The Damn Window: One Patient’s View from Inside a Cancer Hospital

Posted by Dylan Klempner, MFA, Cindy L. Craig, MLS, MAT, May 01, 2017 0 comments

During one hospital visit, Dylan mentioned that he had always wanted to film the beautiful view from UF Health’s adult oncology unit on the eighth floor. He asked me if I would like to collaborate on it. At first, I almost said no. Then, I reconsidered, since I had little else to occupy my time. Over the course of several weeks, I captured footage from five different hospital stays. Some days, I would get frustrated while struggling to set up the tripod and getting the white balance right. But, at least I was frustrated about something besides my chemo for an hour. 

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